Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet Home Alabama

I figured I would end my silence from the blogging fast with talk about our trip to Alabama in  August. First off, yes we are crazy for agreeing to go there in the middle of August. This Cali girl can not deal with humidity but God was so merciful and gave us beautiful weather. The nice folks in AL kept telling us it was such unusual weather for them and it is usually miserable mid-August. We are now paying for that weather by having the worst heat wave EVER! It was upwards of 108 degrees last week and we had humidity, ugh I hope fall comes soon.

Back to Alabama: Why did we go there? Family? Nope. A desire for the country life? Nope. Wanting to subject ourselves to humidity? Nope. Cracker Barrel? Nope. Ok ok, I'll tell you. We went on pilgrimage to Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. You know the monastery that Mother Angelica built,  you know the little cloister nun that started EWTN. Yeah that's the one! In all honesty my dear reader even knowing that this place existed did not give us a desire to go there. We have friends who have gone several times and we were always like "what is in Alabama? I'd rather go to Europe or something. This doesn't sound like much of a pilgrimage." When the organizers first asked us we declined, then they asked us again because our friends who would be newly married would be going and wanted someone to share the car and house we rented. Originally we thought that we would be taking a road trip there, which is why we said yes in the first place, haha we were wrong we took a plane but it was still fun. So God roped us into going and I am glad He did!

First off Los Angeles sucks in terms of hospitality, we all know it. We are not big on having a sense of community here in L.A. and people don't really talk to each other on the street but Alabama now that is a whole different story. The people were so welcoming and nice as well as genuine. On top of all that people are not afraid to talk about Jesus or wear their Christian apparel, it is part of the Bible Belt ya know.

We were there for a week and we spent most of our time at the Shrine. It was like a pilgrimage/retreat/vacation all rolled into one. I got in a lot of prayer time and God really spoke to me there. I went to AL w? a lot of questions for God; What are you doing with my life? What do you want? What are our next steps regarding children? Where are you taking me? Will JJ ever work again? Should we move out of L.A. to find JJ work? What is the meaning of life? The last one is a joke, obviously.

 He did not give me answers pursee but He did give me peace and healing. The best part of AL was JJ and I were not "the IF couple" there. We were just us, a married couple on pilgrimage with 36 other pilgrims. It was such a wonderful feeling to forget about our IF even for a little while, more on that to come in a later post. The Mass is so beautiful and reverent there, the cloistered sisters sing at 7am Mass everyday. Everything there is centered on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and it. is. beautiful. Go to the link above and look at some of the pictures. They have the 2nd largest monstrance in the world, almost 8ft. tall! If y'all ever have the chance to go there you must, we plan on going back.

There are a lot of topics percolating in my brain from our trip and as a result of the blogging fast some deal with IF and some do not. We have made some decisions regarding our TTC journey which I will share later. Oh yeah, I fixed the comments so that you don't have to do the word verification. I know that it can be annoying so I will try it but if I get a lot of spam I will go back to making you prove you are not a robot or spammer. For now here are some pictures from our trip!

 
The outside of the main Church.

 
Cool Perspective

Look at that blue sky! This is also their conference area and gift shop. It's a castle!

Love the clouds in JJ's glasses.

The gorgeous house we stayed at!



Goofy Pic

Serious Pic

Me outside in the courtyard.

My favorite pic taken on our last day there. It was cool and windy!




  

11 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that you had a great time and found peace!

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  2. Love the photos! And looking forward to reading more of your reflections.

    (Regarding the spam, other than it shows up in your inbox (if you get email notifications for comments) and teases you into thinking you got a real comment, most of the spam comments never show up on your blog. The filters that blo.gger has actually work pretty well.)

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    1. Thanks for the info.! I don't think I am signed up for the email thingy.

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  3. Looks like a beautiful and peaceful place. I especially love what you said about the people there, how they talk to each other. I lived in California for six years so I know that's not how it goes there :) So glad you're back.

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  4. Great photos! Sounds like it was an amazing trip. My husband and I don't live too far from there, so we'll have to take a trip out there some time. Thanks for the inspiration! And welcome back to blogging :)

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    1. Y'all should totally visit there!

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  5. Sounds like it was a very wonderful and blessed pilgrimage! The picture of you in the courtyard is so very beautiful! Thanks for sharing all you photos.

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  6. So lovely!! I went there with our youth group in HS and that chapel is really something to see! What an adorable house too! Glad you both had a blessed pilgrimage. And I agree, as much as I enjoyed CA's gorgeous weather (and meeting you, of course!) you just can't beat Southern hospitality :)

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    1. No. nothing beats southern hospitality :)

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  7. Great pics! I'm glad you had a good time... And I'm really glad you turned off wv!

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  8. Sounds like a great trip! I love your new profile pic.

    I'm glad you had good weather--I'm with you on the traveling at the wrong time of year (I've been to Phoenix twice in the summertime now, yuck! My sister lives there, though, and we both work in schools so...)

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